09 July 2019

It's Mid-Year Genealogy Goals Checkup Time

Half a year left. It isn't too late to start your genealogy goals!

I had such a wildly productive 4-day weekend of genealogy research. I want every day to be as filled with joy and accomplishment as that.

I had enough hours to bounce around, finishing off tasks that weren't even on my to-do list. Not officially. For example:
  • Upgrade my unofficial sources to official sources. I researched facts that I'd borrowed from other distant relatives. I found documentation to prove or fix what they'd told me.
  • Go through my old to-do list in Family Tree Maker. I followed up on several questions and answered a bunch of them.
  • Find the family connection for branches that are floating loose in my family tree. I knew these people had to be related somehow. I figured out a bunch of them.
Then I realized we've just passed the halfway point of 2019. It's time to refocus on our 2019 genealogy goals. How are you doing with your list?

The bigger your family tree gets, the easier it is to get lost. Your goals can keep you on the right path.
The bigger your family tree gets, the easier it is to get lost. Your goals can keep you on the right path.

Making Progress on Genealogy Goals

These are the realistic genealogy goals I planned for 2019 and their status:
  • Enter the first five years' worth of birth records from each of my ancestral towns into a spreadsheet. DONE!
  • Search for all missing census forms in my document tracker spreadsheet. DONE!
  • Enter every "Pozzuto" birth and marriage from the town of Colle Sannita into my family tree. MAKING PROGRESS. I'm up to 1841 BIRTHS going forward, and 1852 marriages going backwards.
  • Find Erie Railroad documents from the time my great grandfather worked there. TRIED and FAILED. There is a 1938 Erie Railroad magazine issue that includes my ancestor's name. Maybe the Hornell, New York, library has it.
  • Figure out when my 2nd great uncle moved to Illinois. NARROWED DOWN to between 1906–1910.
  • Search 1920–1925 New York City newspapers for the mutual aid society to which my 2nd great grandfather belonged. TRIED and FAILED.
  • Enter every "Muollo" baby born in Sant'Angelo a Cupolo into my family tree. Find all available documents for the ones who emigrated to Pennsylvania. MAKING PROGRESS.
The first 2 items on the list took a pretty long time. They were tedious. But finishing them was such a rush.

All I can think about is the next step—my 2020 genealogy goals:
  • I want to enter more vital records from my ancestral towns into that spreadsheet.
  • I want to search for the missing draft registration cards for every American man in my document tracker.
It's like potato chips. Once you start, you just can't stop. (See "Plowing Through My 2019 Genealogy Goals".)

The more I add to this database of my ancestral towns, the more valuable it is.
The more I add to this database of my ancestral towns, the more valuable it is.

Time to Get Busy

Now here's what I'd like you to do:
  • If you never made a 2019 goals list, write a short, achievable list of goals.
  • If you did make a 2019 list, see where you stand with each item.
  • Figure out which goals you can make the biggest dent in beginning now.
  • Think about which goals are better left for next year.
Never stop making progress in your family tree research. Anyone who enjoys this crazy-obsessive genealogy hobby knows the secret: Finding that next important fact is everything! That's what keeps us going. And loving every minute of it.

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11 comments:

  1. I'm trying to take a break from ancestry... worked too hard on Ancestry World for the last 6 months, in order to make it seem like I was getting my money's worth - didn't accomplish that. So, I go into FTM when I get the urge - have not really figured out how to get more with it, getting too old to really worry about it! Wish I knew someone who would take over for me - my oldest daughter had interest, but she passed in 2011 just before she turned 45.....

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    1. Is your tree on Ancestry .com? I do hope you'll make it available for distant relatives to find an benefit from.

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  2. I love your database. That's an inspiration.

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    1. I'm itching so bad to add a lot more to it. I want to quickly compare each document to my tree as I add it to the database. Then I'll know if I need that person.

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  3. I'm making some progress, but not as much as I'd hoped. OTOH, I have to be realistic - still working F/T in a job that takes a lot out of me mentally. Some nights it's all I can do to stay awake till 10pm, let alone concentrate on genealogy. I try not to beat myself, but also have been formulating some revised goals for the second half of the year.

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    1. That's good. Revised goals that you can get done will keep you energized.

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  4. I need to work on making genealogy goals. This is a great reminder for me to work on goals and things that I want to complete.

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    1. It's so easy to get interested in one branch and forget to finish up the things you started. So having a list of goals (and a rainy-day genealogy list) can keep you focused.

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  5. I am very impressed with all of your success with your goals! Working full-time, and still unpacking a lot (including some of my genealogy work) leaves me normally asking the question, "Goals? What are goals?" Lol. Seriously, I am mostly just continuously tying up lose ends, and digging out proof needed for certain connections.

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  6. Hmmm...I always do a list of New Year's resolutions, but never considered doing a specific list for genealogy. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    1. I never do a New Year's Resolution because no one ever keeps them. But I do stick to my genealogy goals.

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